Tag: Flathead V8

AMERICA’S BEST ENGINE SHOPS 2022 | H&H FLATHEADS – @EngineBuilder

AMERICA’S BEST ENGINE SHOPS 2022 | H&H FLATHEADS – @EngineBuilder

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Despite not being a fancy, state-of-the-art set up, Mike and his team at H&H have a great thing going. The equipment does exactly what it needs to, his team is experienced and the shop has built thousands of vintage engines for customers everywhere!

It’s not every day that a photoshoot for Rod & Custom is what pushes you over the edge into engine building, but that’s exactly what got Mike Herman to begin his journey building V8s. Of course, this photoshoot wasn’t Mike’s first time being around engines, but before that moment, he hadn’t taken time to learn and understand the work. 

Mike’s father, Max Sr., started an engine shop back in 1972 doing Model A work. As Mike tells the story, he was just out of college and decided to join his dad at a car show in Scottsdale, AZ where Jim Rizzo of Rod & Custom came through the booth.

“He asked if we wanted to do a Flathead article,” Herman recalls. “My dad said, ‘Sure, we’ll do it.’ He stuffed me in all the pictures. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t even know how to work a boring bar or anything. The issue took like nine months to come out, and it was like 10 pages in one issue, and then nine pages the next. The phone never stopped ringing, and I just had to learn on the fly. I shadowed my dad to learn all the tech and read whatever I could. I learned how to break everything and fix everything.”

That push into engine building was exactly what Mike needed, who said he might be working a desk job otherwise. Herman soon took what he learned from his dad and started his own shop, H&H Flatheads in La Crescenta, CA in 2003 – March 2023 will be the shop’s 20th anniversary. 

At just 44 years old today, Herman has successfully built a name for himself and his shop in the vintage V8 world, focusing on Ford Flatheads, Lincoln Flathead V8s and V12s, Y blocks, Hemis, early Cadillacs, Nailheads, and others. 

“I was fortunate enough to enter the industry at the right time, because within two years, I bought Navarro Racing Equipment from Barney Navarro,” Herman says. “That was perfect timing because I was up and coming and he was retiring. Since then, I’ve acquired seven other companies. I have eight vintage speed equipment companies under my H&H Flatheads brand.”

Now, Herman gets to add one more accolade to his shop’s name – Engine Builder’s and Autolite’s 2022 America’s Best Vintage Engine Shop award. H&H Flatheads is a modest shop on the surface – around 3,000 sq.-ft. of space, Kwik-Way boring bars, Sunnen hones, a Hines digital balancer, a Storm Vulcan surfacer, some hot tanks, and tons and tons of old and new engine parts.

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A Flathead-Powered 1932 Ford Roadster You Have to See to Believe – Tim Bernsau @HotRod

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Engineered by Troy Trepanier to set land speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats, this flathead-powered 1932 Ford roadster had SEMA attendees going nuts.


Booking it through the SEMA Show’s central hall, we got caught in a multi-person pileup at the AM Hot Rod Glass booth. The cause of it all? A built-for-Bonneville 1932 Ford roadster that might be the wickedest flathead-powered Deuce we’ve ever seen.


Matt Jewell of Davenport, Iowa, had been a dirt track racer and drag racer before getting into land speed racing at Bonneville. The Jewell Group Motorsports team built the roadster in 2015 to go after the XF Gas Roadster class record of just over 161 mph. The XF/GR class is for roadsters running pre-1953 Flathead engines, which must be normally aspirated and fed by carburetors or mechanical fuel injection.

The roadster body is a steel 1932 Ford reproduction from Brookville. The chassis features suspension parts familiar to anybody into traditional hot rods, including a 3-inch dropped tubular front axle, 1940 Ford spindles, and classic wishbone-style radius rods, along with a Winters quick-change rearend. A Liberty air-actuated five-speed transmission backs up the flathead.

The XF/GR record of just over 161 mph was set in 2012. Jewell was determined to beat it but was having no success, and turned to Troy Trepanier at Rad Rides by Troy for help. “He was hitting a wall,” said Rad Rides fabricator Adam Banks. “Part of it was aerodynamics and part of it was the horsepower he was getting out of his engines.”

At Rad Rides by Troy, the engine was filled with Devcon epoxy and machined. “There were a lot of trials and changes,” Adam said. “We flow-tested different blocks to find out what the best cfm was and kept changing the combustion chambers. We ended up increasing the cfm almost 150 percent without losing a lot of compression. Switching the intake and exhaust ports—which is why the exhaust comes out through the top of the engine—helped with the flow. “

Related: America’s Most Beautiful Roadster 2022 Is a Breathtaking ’34 Chevy Built by Troy Trepanier

The billet aluminum cylinder heads that got so much attention at SEMA were custom machined at Rad Rides. Cooling runs through the heads; an oil-squirter system cools the pistons and cylinders walls from underneath.

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1950 Mercury Eight Convertible Flaunts Bored and Stroked Flathead V8, Impeccable Looks –  Aurel Niculescu – @autoevolution

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The Mercury Eight series holds the uncanny honor of being the debut line for the upscale Ford division. It was manufactured between 1939 and 1959 over a total of three generations and sat in between the Ford Deluxe (Custom) and Lincoln.

As such, it was produced both before – when it shared its body with the sibling Ford models and after World War II – when it became the first apparition of the new Lincoln-Mercury Division, thus sharing more traits with Lincoln from then on. As such, it is not just a car but also a statement of history.

Anyway, now is your chance to grab hold of it because New York-based Motorcar Classics says it has a classy 1950 Mercury Eight Convertible for sale, with low mileage and a potential craving for best-in-show accolades. Sitting proudly in the dealership’s inventory in classy dark green over tan and dark green attire, the two-door drop-top “has been lovingly refurbished by a late owner.”

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The V8-60 Engine, Henry Ford’s Baby Often Forgotten by Car Enthusiasts – Silvian Irimia @Autoevolution

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In 1932, the Ford flathead V8 began production when the expression game-changer wasn’t around. Ford’s V8 revolutionized the American automotive industry, forcing all its competitors to switch to eight cylinders mounted in a V shape. However, we are here to talk about the V8-60.

The story of Henry Ford’s genius creation, the 60-horsepower V8, starts earlier than 1937 when it was introduced. In 1934-35, Ford designed and produced a smaller, 2.2-liter power unit of the company’s standard V8 for its European divisions in England and Strasbourg, France. With interesting engineering, this first version featured only two exhaust ports per bank and four main bearings. At the same time, it was full of issues, especially overheating. Consequently, only around 3300 examples were produced, and today only a handful of them still exist.

Still, the effort was not in vain and actually inspired a second redesigned V8 for Europe. Later, in 1937, it was introduced on the United States market as the V8-60. While in Britain, it was commonly known as the 22 hp V8 (in reference to its taxable power rating), the Ford ad writers for the US called it the “Thrifty Sixty.”

The updated V8-60 was an identical and much tinier version of the original flathead Ford V8 introduced in 1932. The displacement was scaled down by Ford engineers from 221 cubic inches (3.6-liter) to a shabby 136 cubic inches (2.2-liter). The power output was 60 hp (61 PS) instead of 85 hp (86 PS) for the old 1937 V8.

One of the particular features of the V8-60 was the front engine support casting, which doubled as the timing cover and mounts for the ignition distributor and twin water pumps. The small and big Ford V8 powerplants are so similar in appearance that ordinary people are often confused. Looking at the head bolts makes it easy to see the difference. The V8-60 has only 17 per cylinder bank, while the big V8 has 21 or 24 fasteners per side. Another interesting and particular feature was the cooling jacket on each bank that was closed out with a sheet metal plate. This metal plate was electrically welded in the proper position.

Ford customers were attracted to the V8-60’s fuel economy, so sales were outstanding initially. However, sales quickly fell as word got out about the engine’s poor acceleration. You see, despite its tiny displacement, the power unit produced 60 hp at 3500 rpm, which for 1937 was quite decent. Unfortunately, the engine had a significant downgrade. The peak torque was less than 100 lb-ft (136 Nm) at 2500 rpm. The available torque was 50 percent behind its V8 larger brother. As a consequence, The V8-60 was discontinued in the USA after 1940, when Ford introduced an L-head straight six engine as its economic engine.

However, this tiny powerplant found its true potential in racing. If you didn’t know, there was a time before and shortly after WWII when American citizens were absolutely captivated by a new racing competition known as the Midgets. In the 1930s and 1940s, these small cars, modeled after their larger siblings from Indianapolis, raced on tracks in baseball and football stadiums on quarter-mile ovals specially built for them

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A Short History of the Flathead -@ModernDriveline

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A Short History and Evolution of the Flathead V8, and Making It Modern

Back in 1932, Henry Ford introduced the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine producing 65 HP. And by 1935 HP was increased to 85 HP.  Those engines were produced from 1932 to 1938 and were commonly known as “21 stud engines”, due to the head design using 21 head studs

In 1937 Ford introduced a 136 cubic inch variant, producing 45hp.
This engine was only in production from 1937 through 1938.
Although the engine was efficient, it was not very popular with the American public, who were now used to the 85 HP engine.
The 136 cubic inch engine was discontinued at the end of 1938 when the new Inline 6-cylinder Flathead was introduced.

1938 saw the first major redesign of the 221 cubic inch Flathead engine, with the addition of more head studs, now totaling 24 studs. In 1939 the cubic inches were increased to 239 cubic inches and produced 95hp.  These engines remained in production until 1948.
During World War II, 1943-1946, no engines were manufactured for the public due to the war effort (or at least, that I am aware of at the time of this writing). 

The main characteristic of Flathead engines relating to Modern DriveLine, is the back of the engine block. 
The 1932-1947 59A block casting utilized a ½ bell ring over the flywheel. The lower ½ ring was removable to provide access to remove and replace the Clutch, flywheel, and rear seal.

In 1948-1953 8BA/RT blocks no longer had the cast ½ ring.
Ford now used a single stamped metal bell ring for cars or a cast metal bell ring for trucks.  

The intermediate ring with 3” depth, was used over the flywheel and clutch and used to attach transmission to the engine.
In 1948 to 1951, Ford produced the 337 cubic inch engine used in Lincoln cars and the F7 and F8 trucks.
Known as the 8EL in the Lincoln cars and 8EQ in heavy-duty trucks, these engines produced more horsepower and torque and weighed over 850 lbs.
These engines are physically larger and used 27 head studs and used a 12” clutch. Although this is a V8 flathead, very few parts from the 59A or 8BA engines are interchangeable.

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The 1932 Clobes Special, the First Street Rod? – @Wheels Through Time

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The 1932 Clobes Special is one of the most talked about cars in the collection at Dale’s Wheels Through Time. Regarded as “The First Street Rod,” it was custom built by Cletus Clobes of Mt. Pulaski, IL in 1932. The car started as a 1932 Ford Model C and then the entire body was customized including chopped leather top, new interior, dropped axles, Z’d frame, and custom fenders

Blast From the Past: The 1933 Ford Kamp Kar Was One of the First V8-Powered RVs – Elena Gorgan @Autoevolution

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When Ford introduced the Flathead V8 for the 1932 model year, it ushered in a new era of affordable motoring – one that we’re celebrating throughout the month of September as the V8 swansong. This Ford-based RV known as the Kamp Kar deserves its place in our unofficial V8 hall of fame.

September 2022 is V8 Month here on autoevolution: a month-long celebration of the iconic engine, as it’s preparing for its curtain call after a glorious run. Today’s episode of Blast From the Past brings a V8-powered RV, which also happens to be one of the first with this powerplant produced, an impeccable time capsule, and a slice of RV history.

It’s called the Ford Kamp Kar or the 1933 Ford Runkle Housecar, with the latter name offering some insight into its origin, and the former erroneously leading you to think it had some kind of connection with the Kardashian family, aka the world’s most famous klan for their love of names and words that start with the letter K. Jokes aside, this self-sufficient housecar is on permanent display at the famous Recreational Vehicle / Motor Home (RV/MH) Hall of Fame Museum in Elkhart, Indiana, which also hosts Ford’s first production-series RV and the first-ever motorhomes built.

Walter Runkle of Macomb, Illinois, was a house builder but, for about ten years of his life, he did low-volume production of custom motorhomes. People would bring him automobiles and he’d convert them into tiny houses on wheels using his experience in construction. This unit is a good example in this sense, if not the best, since it was for his personal use: a converted Ford V8 that he’d use between 1933 and 1947 for his yearly winter trips to Florida.

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AutoHunter Spotlight: 1936 Ford Deluxe Roadster -David P. Castro @Classic Cars.com

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Featured on AutoHunter, the online auction platform driven by ClassicCars.com, is this 1936 Ford Deluxe Roadster.

The maroon lacquer with red pinstriping exterior was reportedly repainted several years ago. It features a 4-piece hood, chrome bumpers, a chrome grille, dual headlights with body-color buckets, and a tilting windshield.

It rides on black steel wheels with V8-logo center caps, trim rings, and whitewall bias-ply tires.

“The bench seat, interior trim, and door panels are upholstered in brown vinyl,” the listing states. “Features include a tan vinyl floor mat and a floor-mounted manual shifter. Additional features include a keyed steering wheel lock, an original AM radio with a speaker, a body-color steel dashboard with a simulated woodgrain fascia, and a brown 3-spoke banjo steering wheel. The seller notes that some seams on the base of the driver’s seat are coming apart.”

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1935 Ford V8 Spider With A Rare Viotti Body – Henry Kelsall @HotCars

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RM Sotheby’s is one of the biggest auction houses in the whole of the United States. And they often have some truly stunning cars up for sale, be it classic Mercedes Gullwings or iconic Maserati race cars.

This car up for sale though is truly sensational. It is a 1935 Ford V8 Spider, and it is possible that this was the sole Ford car bodied by Carrozzeria Viotti of Turin. This car forms part of Sotheby’s Monterey auction in August 2022.

This car is a far cry from the standard machines you would expect to see a Ford V8 engine in. The results of the Viotti metalwork and the Ford V8 though are truly stunning. Allegedly, the car got built at the request of Count Giovanni “Johnny” Lurani, an Italian count who was also a noted racing driver.

The car also at some point found itself in Argentina, before its discovery in the 1960s and then exportation to the United States. This is where it remained in a private collection for some four decades before it was then acquired by Oscar Davis in 2015.

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Built With Speedway Motors: Rollin’s 1948 Ford – Joe McCollough @SpeedwayMotors

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Rollin Willingham (pronounced “Raw-lin”) has a whole fleet of old cars that are ready to hop in and cruise, and each of them has its own soul and character. He calls this ’48 Ford Super Deluxe his “classy grocery getter.” But it wasn’t always that way.

Rollin’s ’48 has come a long way from being a multi-colored, barely running beater.

When Rollin got the sedan, it was anything but classy. He had just lost another of his classics to an accident that totaled it when a friend offered up this grungy sedan at a good price. Rollin snatched it up to fill the newly empty hole in his lineup. But the car he brought home was barely running, and really ugly. The body was covered in old red primer, and the fenders were a different color. “I like patina,” says Rollin, “but this thing was ugly.”

Rollin is a professional car builder by day, and he got to work immediately on his new sedan as his busy schedule allowed. With friends and club members by his side, he began to sort the car out mechanically. The 239-inch 59A flathead stayed under the hood, but Rollin used a Speedway Motors kit to add an alternator which, along with a replacement wiring harness, converted the car to run 12 volts. The stock driveline lives on behind the flatmotor, but everything was tweaked, tuned, and repaired by Rollin to make the car a reliable driver. The stock stance was brought down in the rear with longer spring shackles, and the radial tires on steelies help it to run straight down the Phoenix freeways.

The stock flattie lives on, even in the desert heat, thanks to a good fan and excellent maintenance.

Rollin straightened out the body and shot it with a fresh coat of hot rod flat black. A few dings and imperfections remain to remind him that this car is meant to be a driver and not a showboat. The effect is that of a classy car that can be driven anywhere without losing sleep over rock chips, door dings, and rogue shopping carts.

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